You may want to plan your next (or first) trip to New York City with the Buddha in mind. The Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art, housed in a space that was once a trendy department store in New York City—Barney's Co-op—has replaced a ground-floor of chic apparel with a giant fiberglass Buddha.

Look up and a marble staircase dramatically spirals seven stories to a broad skylight. It’s like a little window into nirvana, a timeless spot of calm in the chaos of Manhattan.

The three-year-old, 70,000-square-foot Rubin Museum of Art (RMA) is the inspiration and gift of New York art collectors Donald and Shelley Rubin. Dedicated to the art of the Himalayas, it has a comprehensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and textiles, plus exhibitions, educational programs, and a library. Although works range over two millennia, most reflect major periods and schools of Himalayan art from the 12th century onward. Through changing exhibitions and an array of programs, RMA explores the artistic legacy of the Himalayan region and its relevance to the rest of the world.

The museum aims to meet seekers at any level. You can watch "Razor’s Edge," hear chants, or listen to deep thinkers. In the K2 Lounge you can sip a Dragon Eyes Mojito,--a blend of rum, lime, mint, and "litchi dragon eyes tea serum"—or a (or non-alcoholic ginger iced tea) while watching the U.S. debut of the Nagi Gompa Nuns from Nepal or in the theater watch the world premiere of Edward Ware's "Dalai Lama Blues," a film from the International Buddhist Film Festival.

In one program, children can climb the Himalayas a la the spiral staircase, aided by Sherpa guides, with each landing and gallery floor representing a camp on Everest.

There’s also the Artists' Choice Series, which uses cinema to explore morality. The eclectic offerings range from films like "Lektionen in Finsternis" (Lessons of Darkness), a science fiction film from Germany which uses the oil fields of Kuwait to evoke hell on earth to "Dao" (The Blade), a martial arts film with existential overtones.

No one is ever too old to listen to stories, so every other Friday, the RMA storytellers are out in force to share true stories inspired by Himalayan art, stories that are often about compassion, kindness, and love. One thing is certain, you’re going to come out calmer and more centered from the Rubin Museum than you were when you first entered – and in this chaotic world—not to mention New York City—that’s saying a lot!

For more information:

Rubin Museum of Art
140 West 17th Street
New York, NY 10011

Tel: 212-620-5000
Fax: 212-620-0628
Email: info@rmanyc.org website: www.rmanyc.org
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